FG Will Reconstitute Governing Councils Of 61 Universities Soon -NUC Boss

By Alice Etuka, Abuja

The acting Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Chris Maiyaki has said that the federal government was working to reconstitute the governing councils of universities and that they will be unveiled soon.

Maiyaki disclosed this on Wednesday, May 15, 2024 at a media parley with education reporters in Abuja.

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He said, the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman had put in place a panel to work on the list, therefore the councils would be inaugurated once it was consummated.

The Executive Secretary was responding to the two-week ultimatum issued by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for the government to reconstitute the governing councils of public universities.

“To reconstitute the councils of 61 universities is not a small feat. Government is working to ensure that people that are qualified and with the right pedigree are put in those councils”, he said.

The acting Executive Secretary agreed that the absence of governing councils for public universities was slowing down the administration of the universities.

He therefore appealed to the leadership of ASUU to be patient with the government during the period.

Speaking on the number of universities in the country, the NUC boss said the Commission was committed to expanding access to higher education.

“And for this, the current number of 272 Universities in the NUS not sufficient to accommodate the ever-growing demand for university education by Nigerian youths”, he said.

On the initiatives put in place by NUC to boost the nation’s university system, Maiyaki said the Commission identified strategic priorities that encompass curriculum development, quality assurance, research and innovation, infrastructure development, and internationalisation, among others.

“To encourage partnerships with industry and promote blended learning, the NUC carried out an extensive review of university curricula from the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standard (BMAS) to the Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS), which reflects the aspirations of Nigeria to attain a knowledge economy, driven by the 4 Industrial Revolution (4IR) and the 21 Century skills. The CCMAS features an expansion of academic disciplines from 14 to 17.

“The implementation of the new curricula came into effect in September 2023. for the 2023/2024 academic session. The implementation framework of the CCMAS makes provision for the training of staff in student-centred tuition-delivery capabilities and development of textual materials to enhance teaching and learning.

“Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Guidelines In a bid to assure quality in the regulation of the NUS, the Commission developed guidelines to provide a framework for the orderly adoption, integration and mainstreaming of e-learning into the conventional face-to-face modes of teaching and learning in Nigerian Universities, among other objectives.

“This initiative was needed to assure quality in the delivery of university education, via the Open and Distance Education mode, and keep pace with contemporary global best practices. The Commission produced the following guidelines, as part of the efforts to broaden open and distance learning in the Nigerian University System, ” he said.

The acting Executive Secretary said various guidelines including Guidelines on Trans-National Education (INE) in Nigeria; Guidelines for e-Learning in Nigerian Universities;
Guidelines for the Implementation of the National Policy on Open Educational Resources (OER) in Nigerian Higher Education, and d Guidelines for the Establishment of Private Open Universities in Nigeria have also been churned out by the Commission.

“The Guidelines for Transnational Education (INE) allows foreign Universities to collaborate in creating high quality institutions in Nigeria through six competitive models.This effort aims at making Nigerian graduates competitive, globally, so as to reduce the need for the nation’s young men and women going abroad to seek university education”, he said.

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